If everyone in your family is screaming for ice cream, then it’s time to hop in the car for a trip to the southern Black Hills. You’ll see natural sights like lush ponderosa pines and unique rock formations—and historic monuments like Crazy Horse Memorial—as you travel into the southern Hills.
By Molly Barari
There are so many options for ice cream and other sweets in the region that you could easily spend a day or two tasting it all. Here is a list of places you’ll want to stop as you’re out and about. Prepare to be wowed.
Heading into Hot Springs, the sweetest treats can be found at Two Cows Creamery and Upper Crust Bakery and Café. Two Cows Creamery, located on North River Street, is your go-to spot when you want gourmet ice cream, gelato and sorbet. They serve bistro sandwiches and soups, too, but let’s face it—you’re really there for the ice cream. Be sure to try the sodas and floats. You’ll adore the orange cream soda, the root beer float, the Wyatt Burp (ginger ale and vanilla ice cream) and the Wild Bill Hickup (handmade chocolate or strawberry soda, plus ice cream).
Upper Crust Bakery & Café on North River Street will win you over with pies a la mode, brownie sundaes, banana splits, mocha coffee floats, chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches, chocolate and vanilla twist cones and many more handmade treats. Try a scrumptious meal at the café and make your dessert the delicious cherry on top—or make a meal combining several of your favorite desserts. We won’t tell.
Custer is the other spot with the best sweets in the southern Hills. For ice cream, carve out time to visit Horatio’s Homemade Ice Cream on Mount Rushmore Road. Horatio’s is a small-batch ice cream shop located inside the town’s historic bank building, with flavors like pistachio, smores and lemon poppyseed. Horatio’s also has non-dairy ice creams, as well as sorbets and sherbets.
Looking for fresh pastries, yummy bars and breakfast buns or decadent doughnuts in Custer? Head over to Baker’s Bakery and Café on Mount Rushmore Road. You’ll also find homemade breads and mouth-watering meals. You probably won’t want to leave, and we’ll understand if you never do.
Custer Candy Company, also on Mount Rushmore Road, sells handmade chocolates, truffles, fudge, nut clusters, caramels, candies and even gifts—such as scented candles and flavored syrups. This will be a favorite for kids and adults living in or visiting the Black Hills.
If pie brings you to your happy place, then you can’t miss Purple Pie Place on Mount Rushmore Road in Custer. Apple, peach, cherry, blueberry, blackberry, bumbleberry, rhubarb, strawberry rhubarb, raspberry rhubarb jalapeno, peanut butter—and a cream pie of the day—oh my! You’ll never find a greater selection of pies in the Black Hills. Not to mention, the restaurant serves food too—like homemade chicken pot pie and other deliciousness—but you’ll keep coming back for the pie. Ice cream, sundaes, shakes, smoothies and cones are also on the menu. This place is basically foodie heaven.
But it gets better: next door is Wicked Espresso, which serves up the best coffee drinks, mimosas and wines in the town. You can also nibble on bagels, pastries, scones and other snacks. Enjoy the outdoor patio and soak in the sunshine of the southern Black Hills. With all these sweet stops, you’ll feel radiant—inside and out.